Friday, January 17, 2014

The Hessians Among Us

 State Party operations with oodles of cash on hand -- read, Democrats – can well afford to hire a few hessian troops who hide themselves in the political woodwork and snipe at the opposition.

One of them is James Hallinan, 31-years-old, a for-hire political operative who travels the campaign trail of Republicans in this or that state and supplies Democrats with chewy media releases.

Hartford columnist Colin McEnroe reviewed in a recent column some specimens of  Mr. Hallinan’s handiwork and was unimpressed.

Mr. McEnroe wrote:

“The first press salvo from Hallinan and state chairwoman Nancy DiNardo was headlined: ‘DiNardo Blasts David Walker for His Callous Comments Regarding Sandy Hook Tragedy.’ The second one: ‘Chairwoman DiNardo to Walker: Apologize to Connecticut.

Please note that Walker [former Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from 1998 to 2008], this year running for lieutenant governor on the Republican Party ticket] never talked about Sandy Hook at all. So let's make a rule: If you are the first person to mention Newtown in a political spat, then you are the one politicizing that tragedy for your own cheap and shameless purposes. I'm looking at you, Democrats.”

From this slap upside the head of poor Mr. Hallinan, one may draw any number of conclusions: 1) Mr. McEnroe reacts viperishly to missives from bought political operatives that are patently untrue; 2) Mr. McEnroe has a soft spot in his skeptical heart for Mr. Walker, who is not firmly attached to political parties 3) Mr. Hallinan is a bought Democratic stooge of a kind that used to fill the halls of nominating conventions in the good old days of Tammany Hall.

Here is the real problem: The rise of out-of-the-political-party-box hessians such as Mr. Hallihan is an indicator of the present disorder of political parties. The last Connecticut Democratic Party boss, John Bailey, would have had no use for Mr. Hallinan, and Prescott Bush would have cut the Republican equivalent of Mr. Hallinan at the annual Republican Prescott Bush Dinner as soon as he began to offer his services. The rise of party hessians such as Mr. Hallinan are emblematic of the dissolution of strong parties.

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